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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I took my bike to the dealer yesterday morning to check out a warning light on the info-system (little yellow triangle) which they fixed, and then washed the bike for me before I picked it up. I picked the bike up late in the day and never gave it a good look over - no reason to. Rode home (only 5 miles) and put it straight in the garage. I rolled it out of the garage late this afternoon to adjust the handlebars, and when I was standing a ways away from it I got a good look at the motor and it looked like it had little muddy water spots all over it - although I hadn't ridden over any wet surfaces on my short ride home the day before. The bike was spotless when I drove it to the dealership - I had double checked the oil level in it that morning because it had just had it's 1000 mile service and I wanted to make sure I didn't need to ask them to top it off (it was low when I got it back) - so my head was RIGHT NEXT TO THE MOTOR, and these stains were NOT there. I licked my finger, rubbed it across one of the spots - and it didn't budge. Hmm. Grabbed some spray cleaner, sprayed it on a rag, wiped one of the spots - nothing. I can see areas where it looks like whatever they used caused a chemical reaction on the silver motor finish - other spots where liquid had puddled up in crevasses on the motor and caused a hazy "ring" water mark, It's the kind of a hazy residue like you'd see on some aluminum that's starting to oxide. And you can see on the round (water pump?) cover where it dripped down and created stains on the indent. I've tried everything I could think of - but these marks do not come off - it's as if they are etched in or baked on to the finish. The motor which was literally pristine yesterday morning looks abused and 25 years old now. I am literally sick to my stomach, and am going back to the dealership in the morning to discuss it with their GM, although I know they will do everything in their power to deny responsibility. Just sickens me - the bike has 1,000 miles on it - looks like crap and it's probably lost a ton of it's resale value, nobody would want to buy a bike looking like this. Any thoughts from anyone?!! I'm considering getting an attorney involved ... just look at this mess!!

Thanks ...


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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Roadrash83, unfortunately nothing has been resolved yet. The general manager claims they use no chemicals in their wash bay that would cause this, and speculated that maybe - MAYBE - there was some residue on the bike from somewhere that had a chemical reaction with their washing liquids. Doesn't matter to me WHAT happened, I only know it DID happen, at their dealership. I called Harley-Davidson corporate, and they were going to discuss with the dealership and get back with me - they are unable to direct the dealership to do anything but I made it clear I will push the issue and get my bike returned to the condition it was the morning I brought it in for service, even if it needs to go through an attorney. Very frustrating.
 

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I took my bike to the dealer yesterday morning to check out a warning light on the info-system (little yellow triangle) which they fixed, and then washed the bike for me before I picked it up. I picked the bike up late in the day and never gave it a good look over - no reason to. Rode home (only 5 miles) and put it straight in the garage. I rolled it out of the garage late this afternoon to adjust the handlebars, and when I was standing a ways away from it I got a good look at the motor and it looked like it had little muddy water spots all over it - although I hadn't ridden over any wet surfaces on my short ride home the day before. The bike was spotless when I drove it to the dealership - I had double checked the oil level in it that morning because it had just had it's 1000 mile service and I wanted to make sure I didn't need to ask them to top it off (it was low when I got it back) - so my head was RIGHT NEXT TO THE MOTOR, and these stains were NOT there. I licked my finger, rubbed it across one of the spots - and it didn't budge. Hmm. Grabbed some spray cleaner, sprayed it on a rag, wiped one of the spots - nothing. I can see areas where it looks like whatever they used caused a chemical reaction on the silver motor finish - other spots where liquid had puddled up in crevasses on the motor and caused a hazy "ring" water mark, It's the kind of a hazy residue like you'd see on some aluminum that's starting to oxide. And you can see on the round (water pump?) cover where it dripped down and created stains on the indent. I've tried everything I could think of - but these marks do not come off - it's as if they are etched in or baked on to the finish. The motor which was literally pristine yesterday morning looks abused and 25 years old now. I am literally sick to my stomach, and am going back to the dealership in the morning to discuss it with their GM, although I know they will do everything in their power to deny responsibility. Just sickens me - the bike has 1,000 miles on it - looks like crap and it's probably lost a ton of it's resale value, nobody would want to buy a bike looking like this. Any thoughts from anyone?!! I'm considering getting an attorney involved ... just look at this mess!!

Thanks ...


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Try using WD40
 

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This seems to be an odd pattern.
1. Is there staining on the tank paint or any of the plastics on the tank?
2. Did it also stain the exhaust header?
3. Onlu one side of the bike?
I realize there are only a few pictures, but, it seems to me based on the spray pattern that something made contact with the motor right between the cylinders, and was not noticed for some time.
I will await you response before disclosing my hypothesis as to the method of this crime.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Hey @Sq51lacfd - no (thankfully) there are no marks on the tank or anywhere else - just the engine, both sides, on the jugs and engine case. It's very noticeable - the bike is otherwise spotless and it looks like dirty water was sprayed all over the engine - except as I noted, it's etched in... grrr. I've resigned to the fact that I'm probably just going to have to deal with it - after contacting H-D Corporate, they came back and said exactly what the dealer told me - that there's "nothing that they have that would have caused this". Very unfortunate that somehow it happened there, and I'm stuck with it - in court it'd be my word against there's.
 

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Ask them to wash one of their bikes..... See what happens. When the engine is hot, that could be an important factor too.... 🤞
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Ask them to wash one of their bikes..... See what happens. When the engine is hot, that could be an important factor too.... 🤞
Unfortunately they claim they washed many bikes that day, including several Pan America's, and nothing happened to them. I've resigned to the fact I'm just going to have to live with it - I'm certain something happened while it was at the dealership, unfortunately I took the bike home (without looking at it) and discovered the damage the following day.
 

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You can try this, it works incredibly well on chrome. Soak the area with foaming glass cleaner, and gently rub with 0000 steel wool. MAKE CERTAIN it says 0000 on the package. Then wipe with a dry cloth and/or rinse as required.
Best of luck🤞🤞🍀🍀
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
You can try this, it works incredibly well on chrome. Soak the area with foaming glass cleaner, and gently rub with 0000 steel wool. MAKE CERTAIN it says 0000 on the package. Then wipe with a dry cloth and/or rinse as required.
Best of luck🤞🤞🍀🍀
Hey MarcS - thanks for the suggestion, and indeed steel wool works super great on chrome - have done it many times! Unfortunately the surface coating on these Revolution Max engines appears to be some sort of plasticized coating - almost like a powder coating of sorts. Whatever caused the etched spots seems to have chemically altered the material, changing its color - it's not just a surface issue. If the damages had occurred to ANYTHING other than the motor - the wheels, the gas tank, the seats, or anything, I could have replaced or repaired them. Replacing the engine (or majority of it) seems to be the only way I'll ever get rid of the spots, which is terrible because the bike runs and sounds great (thanks to a Two Brothers exhaust). Hoping this motor blows up under warranty lol. 😄
 

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That's really sucks, sorry to hear that....
High temp paint may be your last resort.... (unless it blows up of course😕)
 
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I had a very similar thing happen on mine. Just the engine. engine was cold and I sprayed some simple green on it to loosen up some grime. That's what I was left with. This was my fault but it was definitely from a simple cleaner that I have used dozens of times on other bikes.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I had a very similar thing happen on mine. Just the engine. engine was cold and I sprayed some simple green on it to loosen up some grime. That's what I was left with. This was my fault but it was definitely from a simple cleaner that I have used dozens of times on other bikes.
Greg, wow thanks for your message. I will private message you to (hopefully) get some more information. I've been wondering if anyone else has experienced this.
 

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I am sorry to rehash an old thread but I'm 99% certain I know what happened. Even if they used Harley Davidson clearer the directions say to not use it on a hot motor or even in hot direct sunlight. They likely used their typical Harley branded cleaner and either 1) didn't get it all off and when you ran the engine it etched the finish or 2) they put it on a hot motor. Either way, from what it sounds like to me is that they are at fault. But there's no simple fix, you literally have to replace the damaged parts and they're probably not going to want to eat that cost so they're going to stick you with the damaged motor.

I really feel sorry for you. I had no idea how various cleaners could damage the finish of certain Harley paint (denim for example) and engine parts. For that reason I always soak my engine with cold water to make sure it's cool then clean the bike and let it completely dry before I fire it back up. I am exceptionally careful to get all cleaning solution off the bike. Given what I've learned I won't have anyone else clean my bikes for me. When I take my bikes in for service I ask them not to clean them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Hey IndyTRX,

Thanks for the input and please don't consider this to be an "old thread" - I am "hoping" it happens to others at dealerships, and someone is able to put the puzzle pieces together as to what caused this. I don't actually "hope it happens" but you get the idea. I am absolutely 100% certain it happened at the dealership - sadly my bike wasn't even dirty when they washed it and caused all this damage, that they proceeded to deny. Another user, Greg Short, commented that he had similar damage after using Simple Green, and I am trying to get more information from him - have private messaged him but haven't received a response yet.
 

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Just sent you pics. There was a part of my fork that got a weird stain too but my engine wasn't hot. I was inside a wash booth inside of my shop so direct sunlight wasn't an issue either. I did mine myself so I'm not blaming anyone but myself for not testing a small spot first. Still trying to figure out a compound to try to buff it out with. Luckily I ride my bike off road a lot so it's usually dirty anyway.
 

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Ask them to wash one of their bikes..... See what happens. When the engine is hot, that could be an important factor too.... 🤞
So I rode my bike about 400 miles in a driving rain, obviously the engine was hot and there was all sorts of crap from the road flying about. When I got to where I was going the bike was a mess and I had no opportunity to clean it. A week and a half later I finally made it home, including some more rain and some HOT weather and there is no sign of spotting that I can detect.
 
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